DSW swings to Q4 profit on improved sales, beats Street

Columbus, Ohio Specialty shoe retailer DSW reported Tuesday that it returned to profit in the fourth quarter on strong sales and better-than-expected margin growth. The retailer posted earnings of $13.4 million in the period ended Jan. 30.

The results compare to a loss of $7.5 million in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 16% to $402.6 million from $348.2 million, beating Wall Street's estimate of $384.5 million. Analysts however expected a bigger profit.

Same-store sales rose 12.9% in the quarter, compared with a 7.2% decline a year ago.

For the year, DSW's profit more than doubled to $54.7 million, from $26.9 million in the previous year.

Annual sales improved to $1.6 billion from $1.46 billion.

DSW, which is a division of Retail Ventures, operates 306 stores in 39 states, as well as supplies footwear to 354 leased locations in the United States. It plans to open approximately 10 stores in 2010.

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